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Reviews for Striker 11.5 Kayak by Perception Sport


Rated: 7.83/10 Based On: 6 Reviews

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12-06-2014
Submitted by: DannySend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I absolutely love my kayak! I got mine from West Marine in Charleston, SC and it was preloaded with a anchor trolley and the high back "fishing seat". Now most quality fishing kayak are 14' or more and this one is 11'6" with an extremely stable and wide tri-hull design. Granted I'm only 5'8" and 145 on a good day, I can stand, walk around, do a happy fishing dance, and paddle this thing around the shallows like I'm in an obese paddle board.

Yes, the tracking isn't anything to brag about, especially coming from a shorter/wide yak, and it's slower to glide across the water for the same reason. But given the option I'd rather have a shorter/wide yak to stand and and fish in and stretch and lay out and enjoy my long fishing days opposed to a longer/narrow kayak that I have to stay seated for 6 hours or more a day. I have taken this in main channel 4-5 swells and absolutely loved it. It's a tank. Granted I get a hell of a good work out if I want to travel far but I enjoy that. Keep in mind I have a lot of gear typically.

I wired and installed a Lowrance Elite- 4X HDI fish finder, 12v battery and sonar into this beast. It's an amazing set up. I mounted the unit right between my feet above the assist strap and it's perfect. I mounted 2 Scott rod holders at the recesses provided and they fit perfectly as well. The battery and wires are inside the front hull (yes it's tough to open occasionally but nothing I would complain about). I then strap and small soft cooler on top of the front hull cover with about 12 "beverages" inside with a full bag of ice. As I keep "hydrated" through the day and catch bass I can throw them in my cooler to keep cold for the rest of the day if I catch a couple keepers. So I can have a total of 6 fishing rods with this set up but I typically only keep the 4 in the back and when I'm feel lazy I'll rig me a couple catfish set ups, anchor in a safe spot, throw a line or 2 for catfish, put my feet up, lay back and take in the glory of the NC/SC sun. I keep my layered fishing bag between my legs typically. I also have a milk crate with a bunch of random kayaking goodies and in the back. Including an easy to reach life vest, machete (in case gators, you know), a rain dry suit, snacks, first aid, gallon of water, and enough sunscreen for a preschool class. The seat is just the hard plastic so I keep a foam stadium pad under my butt that is very easy to move to higher and lower position as I feel like moving.

Basically I absolutely love this kayak. I load it to the brim and still have plenty of room to get antsy in the long hot summer days.
Cons: easier opening hatch although it makes it completely waterproof. And the tracking could use a little improvement.
Pros: one amazing summer so far.

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10-06-2014
Submitted by: Sam SmithSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I would like it to be known that I am very much a beginner when it comes to kayak fishing. I have been fishing all my life, but have just recently gotten into the kayak realm. I came from a Pelican Apex 100 Angler, so I feel that may have something to do with how much I've enjoyed the last month I've had this kayak. I am 6' and 185 lbs. I also am used to balancing on a board (surfing, skateboard, wakeboard) so the transition for me was pretty easy. Being able to stand up was the biggest need of mine. I like sight fishing and was even thinking of fishing from a paddle board. I can do just about anything but dance on this thing. I can get all the way to the bow and sit on it with my feet in the water, and I can even sit cross legged facing sideways on the high seat.

This kayak was also priced quite a few hundred dollars less than other companies with comparable features. I got it from Dicks for $499 and it came with a 3 lb grapple anchor, seat that can clip into both low and high position, and a Scotty rod holder mounted up front making 5 total rod holders. I am not saying that the more expensive kayaks aren't better, but with the money I saved I can outfit it with the things I want now instead of later.

The two cons I have are the tracking, and that front hatch. The hatch seems to swell in the heat making it almost impossible to open. I fixed the hatch by mounting a $5 cleat so that not only do I have a handle to help open it (never gets stuck anymore) but now I have a place to toss a bow line. The tracking is not unmanageable, but worth mentioning (this thing needs to have some cons right?) It is also faster than my last vessel, but my experience is limited to only 2 kayaks so take that with a grain of salt.

In conclusion, I've been having the time of my life, and that kayaking is a hobby that I will have for a long time. I would definitely recommend this product, plus is nice when I'm fishing with friends and whenever my back starts to hurt I can stand up and move around a bit without hitting the shore. While they are headed in for a break.

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08-25-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I did a lot of online review reading prior to buying this Kayak. I have had it about 3 weeks now and have had it out 4 times. It is rated at 500 lbs. It seems to be very stable and has a strap to assist in standing up while fishing although I have not tried to fish while standing yet. There is plenty of room on this Kayak for stowing gear, cooler, tackle, etc. and also has a storage access cover 8" inside diameter to stow things inside and a smaller access cover in front of the seat for smaller items. There are 4 built in rod holders behind the seat. There is a place to mount another rod holder in the front of the cockpit on the left and right but I found that it was a little out of my reach after mounting 2 Scotty rod holders and ended up adding the extension bars to make it more accessible.

Overall I am happy with this Kayak but I think I am going to add a rudder to help keep it tracking straight. This Kayak has 2 seating positions molded in which I find nice. It is not the most sleek design and I always find myself "bringing up the rear" when Kayaking with others but it is comfortable to fish out of.

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08-21-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This kayak kept me very high even though my weight is around 210. I think I could have loaded about another 100 pounds in it and it would have still kept me sitting high above the water. This kayak felt like it was built like a tank. I think my kids would have had fun jumping off this kayak at a lake or had fun paddling around. It did turn very well. I did feel like the tracking was not too good. If you planned to do much touring in this little boat you would have a lot of work to do to keep straight. But I think it would be good for a starter kayak or for my kids to play around on. This kayak is not what I was looking for.
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07-03-2014
Submitted by: VictorSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have had the Striker for about a month, and have used it on Lake Erie, inland lakes, and on the Cuyahoga river. I have been very happy with it so far. Very stable, I have set hooks on bass while standing with no problem. Comfortable with plenty of room, it is an excellent fishing platform. Easy to move around despite its weight.

The negatives - not a fast boat, and first move through lily pads well. Front hatch could be larger. Some people don't like the molded foot braces, but I do.

Almost half the price of comparable boats, I think it is an excellent deal.

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03-27-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I purchased a Perception Pro Striker 11.5 about 2 1/2 months ago and have taken it out a few times now. I am both thrilled and disappointed with this kayak.

First, the good. It has an incredibly high payload. 500 pounds for an 11'5" SOT 'yak is pretty good. Since my intention is to use it both for fishing and as a river camping boat, I like this lift capability. I am also not a thin guy and weigh in around 280 myself. I am comfortable with the load bearing ability of the Striker. I have found it to be a fairly stable boat when I am in the lower "paddling seat." On the James River the Striker is able to ride over speed boat wakes that I would have to turn "bow into" with my canoe. Only the most severe wakes and waves, on the river, cause me to have to turn, "bow on toward danger." For the most part, she slips right over them without even noticing.

The Striker is also pretty stable for getting in and out of. Much more so than my old Pelican 15.5 canoe or other SOT 'yaks I have paddled. This is probably due to the fact that it is supposed to be a "stand up" design. The four built in, flush mount, rod holders are nice too and there is a a LOT of room in the hull for gear storage.

Now for the bad. You really cannot access that hull room. There are two hatches. One 8 inch located forward and one 6 inch "day hatch" located IMMEDIATELY under the paddling seat. The "day hatch" is, in fact, so close to the seat that my seat covers it when I snap it in place! I am then partially sitting on top of the day hatch when paddling. This makes it, for practical purposes, inaccessible. Do not put anything down there which you will actually need.
The day hatch is also located next to the largest section of interior storage space, under the seats. Yet, it is only 6 inches across making it impossible to get most gear bags into the your best space. This is also the center-most point of the hull and should be where you load most of your gear but it is just not possible. the main hatch is located forward and is, frankly, next to impossible to get open. I should have realized this in the store when it took two salesmen to pry this hatch loose. I chalked it up to it "being new." I have tried a light coating of vegetable oil on the threads of this hatch. No joy. The thing seals so tight it is next to impossible to get open and it is made worse on a a sunny day. It is my belief that the hatch, being made of black plastic, absorbs sunlight and swells. Whatever the case, the last time I had it on the river and tried to open it I found the hatch to be stuck so hard that I simply could NOT get it open. I could not get to any of the gear in the bow until I had the bright idea of pouring cold water on the hatch for several minutes. It is early spring here, I have scupper plugs in to keep water out and I really did not like pouring water into my boat! Perception REALLY needs to do something about this hatch.

As bad as the hatch is the most glaring problem with the Perception Pro Striker is its tracking or should I say its "lack of tracking?" I have named my Striker the "Elsie May," after my beloved old dog, recently deceased. I used to say that Elsie May behave herself or she may not, she was a had headed critter. Well, the Striker is a hard headed b*tch too and likes to "wander off on her own path." Paddling the Striker is a constant challenge.

I have also found the high seat, or the "fishing seat" to be next to worthless. It was one of the main selling points when I purchased this 'yak and I was looking forward to using it. In practice I have found it to cause the 'yak to become overbalanced and unstable, even at anchor. I simply cannot say that I am thrilled with it. However, I do like clipping my tackle bag and a bottle of water there. It is easy to get to.

Perception could make some serious improvements, to the day hatch, to the forward hatch and including a hatch on the rear cargo well and, maybe a skeg, to help with the tracking problem. It also did not thrill me that, two months after I purchased it, they dropped the MSRP by $100! This tells me that they know there are issues and, somehow, I doubt that Perception intends to try to fix them.

Over all? hmmm I am ranking it 5 out of 10 because it simply does not perform as advertised yet it does have tremendous potential for the money. If someone were looking at one I would say this, do not pay full price. If you can get it at a bargain, or on sale, go for it. You can probably make something of it. I am thinking of trying to make a skeg for mine.

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